Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

All Blog Posts (280)

Mr. Walter Howard

The most important banjo player in British banjo history.


Walter Howard's BANJO TUTOR




Added by Samurai banjo on May 17, 2020 at 11:59am — No Comments

G.P. Knauff's Virginia Reels For Old-Time Banjo!

O.K. finally out after 7 years! 30 tunes published in 1839 in banjo tab. Wonderful Foreword by Thistle & Shamrock's Fiona Ritchie! Tab has both minstrel period tuning and modern pitch tunings for clawhammer players. Get yours right here: https://www.earlybanjotraditions.com/books

I also have a few new copies of Brigg's Book that I found recently. Once they are gone that's it!…


Added by Mark Weems on June 26, 2019 at 3:09pm — 10 Comments

1880 Buckbee banjo replicas now available!

My 1880 Buckbee are very exact.

They are Exact  in sound and looks to the original Buckbee.

VERY wonderful and special banjos!

Please see http://TheresaVaughn.com ( much  information there ).

This week the first silver and gold plated versions will

be completed ....New pictures & videos  will post

to web page in a week or so.


At this time I am looking to borrow an…


Added by Leonard Schneider on January 6, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Winner's New Primer for the Banjo - 1869

FYI, I found an 1869 copy of Winner's New Primer for the Banjo, which has a different list of tunes than the list that Tim Twiss posted for the 1864 edition.  I posted it as images here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Yellowstone-Jewelry-642715152503917/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1286650278110398

Tunes include:

Cuffee's Go Down

Dan Tucker



Added by Mark Ralston on July 18, 2017 at 8:42am — 2 Comments


Anyone know the location of this historical photo?


Added by CW Bayer on May 15, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Circa 1860s restored banjo

Just got this restored banjo on ebay. Wyatt Fawley, in Pennsylania, restored it. We both believe it to be from the 1860s, based on the hand made hooks and nuts, and the way they are attached to the wooden pot. Wyatt had to steam the wooden pot back into round, and one of the hooks/nuts is a replacement. Original black paint is still on rimstick. Pot is hand sawed maple and neck is tight grwined walnut.

I haven't gotten this in the mail yet, but was wondering what the consensus is as to the… Continue

Added by Jim Jacquet on December 1, 2015 at 10:33pm — 6 Comments

Notes for the Walk Round

Here is the music for Winans' Walk Round. It was fun to pay tribute to him


Added by Tim Twiss on November 28, 2015 at 10:27pm — No Comments


I was at a civil war event this past weekend.  Elaine and I were contracted to do some performances and to do a school day presentation for 600 students.  There was another musician there who was very talented, and could play a number of instruments.  However...

He pulls out an 1890s banjo, and says that it is one.  However he then says that this is the same as the banjos of the civil war era.  He then told the kids he would play in a civil war era style, and proceeded to play in a…


Added by John Masciale on September 28, 2015 at 9:41am — 3 Comments

Bell vs a Hartel minstrel banjo? (can someone explain?)

Hi Everyone my name is Jason. I'm new here and I was wondering what is the difference in sound quality and craftsmanship between both makers of the Boucher minstrel banjo? I know the Hartel Boucher is more expensive, perhaps a little more modified then the Bell Boucher. Although Im new to the Victorian fretless banjo, I have been a musician for years. I would greatly appreciate any info on this topic.

Added by Jason Adam Young on August 12, 2015 at 2:30pm — 6 Comments

Bridge for Stewart 'Student'

I'm having a hard time finding a bridge for this Stewart.  It's set up with 1  7/8  X 7/16" bridge, skin head, nylon strings. The action is way too low.  It looks like I'll need 1/2" or 17/32" .  I understand poplar is best for this set up. Would this be a  custom made bridge ? Can I get ahold of a blank and file/sand it to size?

Added by Barbara Mullin on June 25, 2015 at 11:24am — 1 Comment

The banjo in the painting

Hello, friends. I probably won't post much, but I enjoy reading your posts, listening, and watching your videos. And playing my Bell Boucher--thanks Terry for a great banjo!

But I signed up because I wanted to share something I saw on a visit last week to the Frist Center here in Nashville, our local art center, which is hosting an exhibit of 19th century American art. 

Go to …


Added by Mark Miller-McLemore on April 29, 2015 at 9:06pm — No Comments

Period Authenticity and Being Heard


I perform in a trio that plays music ranging primarily from 1800 to 1864 - some earlier, none later. Our instrumentation is minstrel banjo, romance guitar, and violin. We perform in a number of different locations throughout the course of a year, many of which are outdoors, and many of which involve large numbers of people.

Performing outdoors is bad enough - we perform mainly in the very flat land of Louisiana and Arkansas and Mississippi, so there is rarely…


Added by Charles Edward Lee on April 1, 2015 at 5:59pm — 1 Comment

Early Banjo Downloads

I have been working hard on my download site, and here is where it is so far.  15 Cd's covering ALL the Early Banjo material for $5.00 ( and a Ning discount on top of that - Code is Ning25 ) as well as digiitzed documents. I have the Early Banjo Primer, which is your guide to getting started. As I always claim, that book is not my own original thought, but rather an alignment of the exisitng concepts that communicate the style of play.…


Added by Tim Twiss on February 23, 2015 at 9:13am — No Comments

Disount code

This is good for a month. Pass the word.

Ning25    gets you 25% off.

Added by Tim Twiss on February 14, 2015 at 9:49pm — No Comments

Download Discount

All my recordings of the Early Banjo Books are here at Payoadz


I have entered a discount for my friends at Ning for an additional discount of 25%.

Take advantage of this to get your Briggs, Buckley, Rice, Winners, and Converse.

Added by Tim Twiss on February 14, 2015 at 9:48pm — No Comments

Winner's 1864 TOC


Here are the titles for the tunes in this book

Added by Tim Twiss on November 27, 2014 at 10:42pm — 1 Comment

Great Job!

“Mr. Welch did a great job presenting information about the Civil War through stories and songs. The students and staff gave him a great evaluation!” Susan Roegge-Special Education Department Chair Turner Jr. High Jacksonville, IL.

Added by Songs of the Civil War-Bob Welch on November 11, 2014 at 7:06am — No Comments


“The reviews of your assemblies here at Roosevelt have been OUTSTANDING! The teachers thought it was great, and my eighth grade daughter, who never talks about anything school related, was talking about it that night at the supper table. She really enjoyed it!”    Jeffrey J. Johll Assistant Principal/Activities Director Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School. Dubuque, IA.

Added by Songs of the Civil War-Bob Welch on November 11, 2014 at 7:06am — No Comments

Thank you!

“Thank YOU, Bob! You were certainly a great fit for our museum . Best to you, Linda.”

Linda Shuck-Events Specialist Living History Farms Urbandale, IA. 

Added by Songs of the Civil War-Bob Welch on November 11, 2014 at 7:05am — No Comments

Songs of the Civil War in the Classroom

“Bob Welch’s “Songs of the Civil War” performance was a treat! Bob kept them engaged and kept the questions coming, helping our students to remain involved and to delve even deeper into our country’s history from a fresh perspective. I would recommend this program to any teacher looking to bring an enlightening and entertaining discussion to their classroom.” Kim Forbes Taft Alternative Middle School Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Added by Songs of the Civil War-Bob Welch on November 11, 2014 at 7:04am — No Comments


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